HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE- BEST LOVED STORIES by Sudha Murty
What is the real test of a book? Why do you like a book? In my sense the book should impact you. The book should strike a chord. This is what this plain and simple book does to you.
Sudha Murty wears many hats—philanthropist, entrepreneur, computer scientist, engineer, teacher and above all, she has been a storyteller extraordinaire. Winner of R.K. Narayan Award for Literature, the Padma Shri, the Attimabbe Award from the Government of Karnataka for excellence in Kannada literature, and the Raymond Crossword Lifetime Achievement Award. Her repertoire includes adult non-fiction and fiction, children’s books, travelogues and technical books. A thing to be noted about Sudha is, before she started writing in English she was writing in Kannada.
Here There and Everywhere is a celebration of her literary journey. Bringing together her best-loved stories from various collections, along with some new ones and a thoughtful introduction. So, here is a book that in every sense is as multifaceted as its author. It’s a Penguin Random House India publication in the year 2018. The price of the book is Rs 250 and it completes in 243 pages.
To me the subject book appears to be a camouflaged autobiography of the author. Normally people present their autobiography past their active career and professional life. But Sudha Murty has bypassed the process. She has attempted to present her biography through the maze of twenty two interesting episodes in the book. She calls it her literary journey. If you are on a holiday or looking for a light book to read while at home under the lockdown this indeed is something for the occasion. The book has some interesting real life stories with which Sudha has been personally connected. So in various ways it reflects her own life. And one wonders what an eventful life Sudha must have had. The twenty two episodes are rich with moral lessons, sense of achievement, sense of fulfilment, human concern, human desperation, lineage, love for a city, challenge, how to become maverick, a chapter on the journey of fruits and vegetables that we eat, a trip to Pakistan and some other countries, a magnified view of Karnataka and Sudha’s own grit and determination and a good look at her illustrious personality.
Normally one finds two kinds of authors. One who writes and becomes famous. The other who becomes famous and then writes. Sudha fulfils both the slots if I’m not wrong. She started with writing in Kannada and then graduated to English.
Every person’s life is a unique story. Usually, the story becomes famous only after a person receives recognition in ways that matter to the world—says Sudha.
About English she writes, ‘The common people of India have found a way to welcome English into their daily lives, and that includes me too. I can only tell stories from the heart and in a simple manner. That’s all I really know, and that is also the only thing in the world that is truly mine.’
In the book she has used simple language but striking points. Something like, how does one explain colour to a blind person. The smell of jasmine which is white, is different than the rose that is red. Essentially, it is difficult to explain what is red and what is white to a person who cannot see and has to be contended with the smell alone. The insinuation of which provokes you to feel that every human being is blind in some way or the other but has the proverbial instinct (of smell) to beat blindness.
Lines can’t divide you’re your heart. Roopa Kapur from Chennai gets nostalgic when she visits Pindi—Rawalpindi. The scene is very touchy when she finally discovers her house has turned into a shopping complex.
And how the little girl teaches her grandmother to read and how the grandmother acknowledges the granddaughter as her life-long guru.
The book is filled with many other interesting vignettes. I would call it a good read. A seven out of ten.
Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi
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GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE
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ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY
(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)
AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES
(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)
REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD
(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)
TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN
(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)
RHYTHM … in poems
(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)
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